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Centre Court

£29.25

A tennis replay simulation that recreated every shot of every rally of every game would be playable only in the context of single one-off games. And would satisfy few hardened gamers. Conversely. A game that provides only the final score of a set, albeit ‘constructed’ from individual player ratings (like our own ‘Top Tennis) cannot begin to capture the atmosphere of World Championship tennis, the excitement of a cut and thrust rally or the individual brilliance of a stunning drive or deft stop volley.

The compromise we have sought in ‘Centre Court’, our favourite mixture of playability and ‘feel’, is a simple meshing of dice rolls linked to the serving and return of service ability until the set reaches a crisis point, switching at that moment to a detailed replay of each and every shot until the game is decided. This is where individual strengths and weaknesses show and, provided we have done our research correctly, the game will produce not only realistic stats. in the form of sensible results, but also a manner of execution that is believable and in keeping with the players’ characters and playing styles.

With 80% plus of games going with service - we’re talking here about world class tennis men’s singles and grass courts - a Crisis Point can readily be defined as a moment when a service break is but a point away. Even at this stage the big serve and volleyers will be favoured to pull out an ace down the centre, or to put away at the net the return reached only at full stretch. Now the flair of the great returners of service has a chance, the crashing angled drive across the onrushing server, the superb passing shot down the sidelines, the cleverly hoisted lob that sends the server scurrying back to the baseline.

We set ourselves the target of a simulation needing under 30 minutes to play a sternly contested five-setter. Most Games, in play-testing, were completed in 15 to 25 minutes. Unfortunately, the game system finally chosen requires ‘unique’ player Cards and Stoke Cards, unique that is to the grass game, so this ‘Centre Court’ starting kit is restricted to men’s singles play, on grass. (incidentally, our definition of a Crisis Point will need to be reconsidered if the game is extended to include the ladies. With service breaks occurring about 35% of the time a different approach would be needed.) And before anyone asks, yes, we have thought about doubles play, and there is no reason why the game cannot accommodate that also, at a later date.

To add the flavour that is necessary, we believe, in any simulation concerned with head-to-head confrontation, we included separate Ratings for forehand, backhand and overhead shots, reflecting each player’s ability to pull out a brilliant winner from a favoured position. And with Nastasse and McEnroe amongst the All-Time-Greats included in the game we just had to have a Temperament Rating too!

The Form Number means that players will have their off days (or, in some cases where we thought it appropriate, their very much on days) and that seems no less than essential in a game that attempts to compare degrees of greatness in players from different eras.

Action Cards were felt to speed up and lubricate the games system, but dice play their part in both the Crisis Point and non-crisis situations.

Finally the use of individually tailored Stroke Cards enables us to ‘create’ varying styles and abilities, or rather, we hope recreate accurately the styles and abilities of the thirty two players included.

Having decided to make the game All-Time-Greats rather than contemporary, we felt that the first batch of players should span a relatively short period of time, so Rod laver to Boris Becker is the approximate spread. Thirty-two, of course, is a good number to start with, a ready made base for an All-Time-Great tournament that should take around fifteen hours to complete.

We believe that ‘Centre Court’ has much the same feel as ‘International Cricket’ in that the individual player styles do show through quite strongly one the game system has been mastered. If the game is as warmly received as ‘International Cricket’ we will be well pleased.

Players included in the game are:

KEN ROSEWALL, KEVIN CURREN

MANUEL SANTANA, MATTS WILANDER

JOHN McENROE, ILIE NASTASSE

NIKKI PIETRANGELI, TONY ROCHE

PANCHO GONZALES, LEW HOAD

ROD LAVER, IVAN LENDL

PAT CASH, JIMMY CONNORS

STEFAN EDBERG, ROY EMERSON

ROSCOE TANNER, ROGER TAYLOR

JOHAN KREIK, BORIS BECKER

JOHN NEWCOMBE, TOM OKKER

YANNICK NOAH, WOJTEK FIBAK

VITAS GERULAITIS, TIM MAYOTTE

HENRI LECONTE, ARTHUR ASHE

VIJAY AMRITRAJ, BJORN BORG

SLOBODAN ZIVOJINOVIC, NEALE FRASER

STAN SMITH, ROGER FEDERER

ANDY MURRAY, ANDY RODDICK

RAFAEL NADAL, NOVAK DJOKOVIC

LEYTON HEWITT, MARAT SAFIN

TIM HENMAN

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  • 100 Units in Stock


This product was added to our catalog on Monday 14 January, 2008.

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